"My message to young people who are struggling, is to hang in there. This rough patch won’t last forever, and in the meantime focus on things you can control like having a positive attitude and staying involved in the community either through sports or voluntary work."
top Must Dos
Walks, bike rides and kayaking
After lockdown was announced, we had two days to recreate systems and processes so we could continue to do our work and connect with and support Marlborough youth online.
We knew lockdown was going to have a big impact on young people, with online learning to contend with, as well as not being able to see their friends, play sports, go to school or do any of the other activities that young people thrive on.
We adapted early by creating daily Facebook videos and going live on Instagram, focusing on the Mental Health Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing to provide youth with ideas to keep active, give, connect, take notice and learn whilst at home.
We managed to set up some online forums pretty quickly to provide some structure and a space for young people to continue progressing with their programmes, such as the Youth Advisory Group, Youth Employability Programme and virtual youth groups with a twice weekly bootcamp/meditation and quizzes via Zoom, but we still found it difficult to interact meaningfully without face to face contact.
We created an anonymous survey for youth to share with their friends and whanau to gauge where we could to help out youth in our community and we delivered care packages and supported whanau wherever possible.
Some of the youth we heard from actually didn’t mind lockdown, but for some youth, where school is very much a safe place, lockdown was really tough. It’s been awesome to be back face to face working with youth alongside our awesome team here at MYSPACE.
Going forward, I think we’re going to see more 17-24 year olds putting their plans or study on hold while they reassess their priorities after lockdown.
I think young people are also going to feel the effects of any job shortages much more than older generations too, so the work that the Marlborough Youth Trust does, helping young people build their work experience, CVs and developing their soft skills is going to be more important than ever.
My message to young people who are struggling, is to hang in there. This rough patch won’t last forever, and in the meantime focus on things you can control like having a positive attitude and staying involved in the community either through sports or voluntary work.
Take what employment opportunities are on offer, because all those opportunities will help build your skills basket and open unexpected doors that lead to great things.